How do I know if I have a valid personal injury claim?

do-you-have-a-personal-injury-claimPersonal injury claims are civil actions allowing individuals to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering when they’ve suffered injuries caused by another party’s negligence. However, these cases have specific legal requirements you must meet.

Elements of a Personal Injury Claim

In order to have a personal injury claim, there must be a responsible negligent party. This means you must be able to prove another person is liable for you or your loved one’s pain and suffering.

There are four elements to winning your case:

  • Duty. The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • Breach of Duty. The defendant’s actions failed to uphold the required duty of care.
  • Causation. Your damages are caused solely by the defendant’s actions and not attributed to some other cause.
  • Damages. Breach of duty caused you specific harm, such as medical costs and lost wages.

These elements are the same in every type of personal injury claim, including car accidents, slip and fall cases, and dog bite injuries. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a different standard of proof for a civil personal injury case compared to a criminal charge.

To win your personal injury claim, you don’t need to prove fault beyond a reasonable doubt. You must only prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is responsible. This means that it’s more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused your injuries.

Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim

Types of evidence you might use to support your personal injury claim include:

  • Photographs from the accident scene
  • Surveillance video
  • Testimony from witnesses
  • Police reports
  • Expert testimony

You’ll also need to document your damages by providing proof of financial harm you’ve suffered. This includes copies of medical bills and pay stubs showing lost wages.

Protecting Your Right to Compensation

Hite and Stone’s legal team is committed to protecting the rights of South Carolina residents who’ve been injured due to the negligence of others. If you are unsure whether your injuries qualify for compensation, our South Carolina personal injury attorneys are available for free consultations today.